Sunday, 19 July 2015

Adventure Air Adventurer 333 Amphibians of New Zealand

The Adventurer 333 was one of a series of amphibian aicraft that were produced by Adventure Air of Berryville, Arkansas in the USA.  Adventure Air was owned by Happy Miles but is no longer in business.  However the aircraft does not have a happy history both on the safety front as well as on the commercial front.

I have posted on these aircraft previously at and if you click to that post there are some interesting comments.  However I am posting them here in the ongoing series of homebuilt and sport aircraft types that have been registered in New Zealand with the Adventurer 333 being one of the last types to be registered in the 1990s.

The Adventurer 333 was a 4 seater and was a big heavy aircraft.  The model number 333 came from the 333 HP Chevrolet HO 350 engine that was converted for aircraft use.  The airframe is a mixture of 4130 steel and composites.  Length was 25 feet 6 inches (7.77 metres), wingspan was 35 feet 10 inches (10.92 metres) and the wing area was 179 square feet.  Empty weight was 2,100 pounds (950 Kg) and MAUW was 3,000 pounds (1,360 Kg).  Cruise speed is around 130 mph and the stall speed in around 54 mph when set up for landing.

We have had two Adventurer 333 amphibians in New Zealand, as follows

ZK-WAI (c/n 206) was registered to the Terry L Newton Syndicate of Rotorua on 8/4/99.  In around 2004 the address of the syndicate transferred to Whakatane.  It is photo'd above at the 2004 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga in February 2004.  It looked rather neglected at that time and I think it may never have flown after some unsuccessful attempts (see the comments on my earlier post).  It was cancelled from the register as revoked, on 12/4/10.

However, a more successful Adventurer 333 was ZK-JZZ (c/n 174) which was built by aircraft engineer Marcus K Mewett of Auckland.  It was first registered on 14/6/04 and first flew at Ardmore on 5/7/04 in the hands of Dave Phillips.  It had a Chevvy 350 with a 1.7 to 1 reduction drive and an Ivoprop Magnum propellor.  Marcus carried out the test flying from Ardmore but I do not know if it carried out water landings?  Can anyone confirm?  Marcus then emigrated to Australia and flew the aircraft across the Tasman on 4-5/6/05 via Kerikeri and Lord Howe Island to Port Macquarie.  It was cancelled from the NZ register on 15/8/06 and became VH-AJH.  It is still current in Australia owned by R Muller of Burleigh Heads, Queensland.

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